Gabriel Agbonlahor has suggested Manchester City are having trouble with an ‘unhappy’ Kevin De Bruyne this season.
City dropped points at Tottenham on Sunday while Pep Guardiola dropped De Bruyne to the bench much to the dismay of the footballing world.
The Belgian was eventually brought in but the damage had been done as Spurs beat the Premier League champions 1-0 thanks to Harry Kane’s record goal as Erling Haaland struggled.
But that wasn’t the only glaring omission, with Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte also on the bench, while Phil Foden wasn’t even in the squad, although Guardiola admitted it was due to illness.
This follows Joao Cancelo’s hasty transfer from the Etihad in January amid signs that all is not well under Guardiola at the moment.
That’s what Aston Villa legend and talkSPORT pundit Agbonlahor insisted on The Sports Breakfast, saying: “Everyone keeps saying ‘Manchester City are going to be fit’. what if they don’t?
“I feel like the Premier League now, there are no easy games, you watch Arsenal go to Everton, they probably thought, ‘Oh new manager, but we’ve had enough, [Bukayo] saka, [Gabriel] Martinelli, we will get a result”, but no, it is not.
“Manchester City, Pep [Guardiola] tried to play some of his fringe players, keep his best player on the bench [Kevin De Bruyne]they will lose to Spurs.
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“Last night Manchester United probably thought, ‘Leeds at home, no manager, no Premier League win this year, oh, we’re 2-0 down.
“Something’s wrong here [at City]you look at the body language, looking at the game and Kevin De Bruyne’s body language on the bench, he didn’t look happy, did he?
“[Erling] Haaland must have thought when he saw the team sheet, ‘Where’s Kev? I need Kev, no one else is looking forward to it!”
There has been a lot of talk about Haaland in recent weeks, including from Jamie Carragher who insists the Norway international may have joined the wrong team.
But cameras caught De Bruyne on the bench looking miserable as at the start of the season it looked like he and Haaland had forged an instant connection.
The 31-year-old has made 11 Premier League assists this season – more than anyone.
However, Guardiola insisted his absence from the starting XI was a tactical decision, although it appeared to stifle City’s creativity against Spurs.
“Well, I would say the focus will be more on today than yesterday, of course when the top team in the league drops points,” he said before kick-off.
“But nothing changes, we have to do our job and that’s why all day I thought about what you have to do.”
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